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  1. #1
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    Feeding question

    Ever since I got my ball python back in December, I've always put paper towels down on top of the substrate to stop any substrate going in his mouth (coco fibre). I pick him up and put in the paper towels but I dont touch him after he's eaten. I wait for him to get off of them or go into a hide and then take them out so he doesn't regurgitate. Is this okay? Do I need to be this careful or is he gonna be okay eating a load of coco? Just asking cuz everyone else I've seen just feeds their ball pythons on their substrate.

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  2. #2
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Good question...I applaud your concern but not what you're using. Paper towels can become damp & stick to the rodent being swallowed. They are not digestible &
    can cause a life-threatening blockage requiring surgery to save your pet, as can fabric of any kind that is used for this purpose. When snakes open their mouths wide (as when swallowing prey) their teeth can catch on paper towels or fabrics, & since they cannot spit them out, they get swallowed with the meal.

    So yes, put something down to keep your snake from ingesting substrate, but use something like a cardboard box lid or plastic plate or plastic storage box top. Your
    snake would actually be much better off if he swallowed some coco fiber than if he swallowed some paper towel... You're right that many people don't bother about
    this ("snakes ingest stuff in the wild too") but I prefer to do the best possible care for my pets, which means common-sense (& EASY) prevention of medical problems.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 09-05-2019 at 01:00 PM.
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  4. #3
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    Re: Feeding question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Good question...I applaud your concern but not what you're using. Paper towels can become damp & stick to the rodent being swallowed. They are not digestible &
    can cause a life-threatening blockage requiring surgery to save your pet, as can fabric of any kind that is used for this purpose. When snakes open their mouths wide (as when swallowing prey) their teeth can catch on paper towels or fabrics.

    So yes, put something down to keep your snake from ingesting substrate, but use something like a cardboard box lid or plastic plate or plastic storage box top. Your
    snake would actually be much better off if he swallowed some coco fiber than if he swallowed some paper towel... You're right that many people don't bother about
    this ("snakes ingest stuff in the wild too") but I prefer to do the best possible care for my pets, which means common-sense (& EASY) prevention of medical problems.
    I always watch him eat 100% of the time to make sure he doesn't swallow any, but I will swap to something else like u said to make sure Thank u!

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  6. #4
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Think of it this way...they've survived thousands and thousands of years without anybody putting paper towel down.

    Also, paper towel is risky because it can actually get stuck to the prey and ingested.
    If you're gonna put something down use cardboard, paper plate, etc...not paper towel.
    Last edited by Craiga 01453; 09-05-2019 at 01:02 PM.
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  8. #5
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Even if you're watching, once their teeth snag on something, it may cause some damage (at least to his teeth) if you try to pull it out of his mouth. Not worth the
    'wrestling match', lol. And typically, your approach will make your snake tuck his head in tightly & coil around it, as if to say "NO! It's MINE, you can't have it!"
    Many friends in low places...

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    Craiga 01453 (09-05-2019),Sophieg (09-05-2019)

  10. #6
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    Re: Feeding question

    Quote Originally Posted by Craiga 01453 View Post
    Think of it this way...they've survived thousands and thousands of years without anybody putting paper towel down.

    Also, paper towel is risky because it can actually get stuck to the prey and ingested.
    If you're gonna put something down use cardboard, paper plate, etc...not paper towel.
    Okay thanks, I'm swapping to cardboard

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  11. #7
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    Re: Feeding question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Even if you're watching, once their teeth snag on something, it may cause some damage (at least to his teeth) if you try to pull it out of his mouth. Not worth the
    'wrestling match', lol. And typically, your approach will make your snake tuck his head in tightly & coil around it, as if to say "NO! It's MINE, you can't have it!"
    Oh okay! I see haha! Thank u!

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  12. #8
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding question

    Quote Originally Posted by Craiga 01453 View Post
    Think of it this way...they've survived thousands and thousands of years without anybody putting paper towel down...
    Not individually they didn't...and it's a pretty safe bet that most wild snakes have far shorter lifespans than captive ones (assuming good care, not neglected), not to
    mention they suffer with whatever ails them until death (either natural or by predator)...there's no "free clinics" for snake constipation, etc.
    Many friends in low places...

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  14. #9
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Not individually they didn't...and it's a pretty safe bet that most wild snakes have far shorter lifespans than captive ones (assuming good care, not neglected), not to
    mention they suffer with whatever ails them until death (either natural or by predator)...there's no "free clinics" for snake constipation, etc.
    Well, of course they don't all survive to live long lives. But that can be said of any species.

    They're obviously built pretty efficiently if they've survived as long as they have while other species have died off.

    I used to put cardboard down. But I found that more often than not the snakes dragged the prey off it anyway.
    Thousands of feedings so far, not a single impaction, not a single time I had to intervene to remove substrate.
    Last edited by Craiga 01453; 09-05-2019 at 01:18 PM.
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